Almost 12,000 people are treated for snow shoveling injuries each year.
In 2011 the American Journal of Emergency Medicine reported that U.S. hospitals treat on average 11,500 injuries and medical emergencies a year related to shoveling snow.
While we’re experiencing storm after icy storm this winter in the north east region, no doubt there are some of you who are shoveling more snow this year than usual. Many people are more sedentary during the winter and then place extraordinary demands on their cardiovascular system. The Wall Street Journal summarizes the findings by stating:
Two-thirds of shoveling injuries occurred in men, and 15% of injuries were in children under 18 years old. More than half of injuries resulted from acute musculoskeletal exertion, 20% from slips and falls, and nearly 7% from cardiac problems, such as heart attack.
So what can you do? The American Heart Association offers some tips on shoveling safely.
- Take frequent breaks
- Don’t shovel snow right after or just before a heavy meal
- Don’t drink alcohol right after or just before you shovel snow
- Use a smaller shovel or snow thrower, and try to push not lift the snow
- Learn the heart attack warning signs and listen to your body. Minutes matter!
For more detail, visit www.heart.org
If you do injure yourself shoveling snow, come see us for an acupuncture or acupressure treatment. Muscoskeletal injuries respond well to acupuncture.
In good health!
(Image thank you - Mike on Flickr)
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